MENDOTA – It’s official. Greg Kellen is the next police chief for the city of Mendota. Kellen was sworn in by his Mendota High School classmate Troy Holland at the Dec. 3 meeting of the Mendota City Council.
Kellen began his career in 1988 as a dispatcher at the police department. He then became a part-time patrolman and was promoted to full-time patrolman. He has held various ranks during his time with the police department.
A large crowd filled the city council chambers to witness the ceremony. Afterward, Kellen thanked the mayor, city council and everyone else involved in the process of him becoming the chief. He said he was honored to look out into the crowd of people and see family members, friends and neighbors share in his achievement.
“I’m grateful to my mother for her work ethic that she passed on to me,” Kellen said. “And I thank my wife and kids for putting up with me.”
Kellen described himself as a problem-solver. “If you have a problem, I will fix it to the best of my ability,” he said.
He added that he made a promise to himself to serve the community he grew up in to the best of his ability.
“I am honored to be leading this new group. I am honored to be the chief of police of the city of Mendota. I will serve this community with the utmost dignity and respect.”
Chief Tom Smith will serve as police chief emeritus until Feb. 20, 2019. He has been the chief in Mendota since Dec. 1, 1997.
In other action, Mayor David Boelk announced that Bill Politsch, long-time ESDA director, had submitted his letter of resignation. It was accepted by the council.
In aldermanic reports, John Holland presented intergovernmental agreements between the city and LaSalle County, Illinois Valley Community College and Mendota High School for the Starved Rock Wood Products and ADM projects.
Also, the council approved holiday bonuses for full-time employees in the amount of $50 Mendota Chamber Bucks.
Alderman Bill Hunt asked the audience to pause for a moment of silence in memory of President George H.W. Bush, who passed away Nov. 30. Bush came to Mendota in 1988 during his campaign for presidency.
The next regular meeting of the Mendota City Council will be Monday, Dec. 17 at 6:30 p.m.